Jennifer grew up in a military family and moved every few years as a kid. In 2002, she moved to northern Wisconsin to stay put for awhile, attend Northland College and, as luck would have it, realize her love of farming with her first farm internship on the shores of Gitchigummi (Lake Superior) in 2003.
Many of her work experiences have revolved around agriculture and community
development. She’s worked on farms large and small, for non-profits, for different tribal organizations, research groups and for many small business owners. She moved to Iowa almost 5 years ago to attend graduate school at ISU where her graduate research focused on food sovereignty within the Oneida Nation Reservation Community.
After receiving a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture in the summer of 2011, she was hired by the Sac & Fox Tribe, aka the Meskwaki Nation, as their Local Foods Planner, and tasked with creating a new program within the Economic Development Department. That program became known as the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI).
Her absolute favorite part of our food and farm system is farm work and farm-based education. As part of MFSI, in 2013, their team launched Red Earth Gardens, a 40-acre soon-to-be certified organic produce farm. Building off their success, the farm is planning for a permaculture orchard, and in the meantime are exploring options for value-added products like dried soup mixes and heirloom dry beans using farm produce. Above all, the farm works to make affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables available to the Meskwaki community and region.
In her free time, she and her partner raise heritage hogs on pasture and market their products through their farm, Turkey Foot Farm. They look forward to expanding this business in the future. She also likes to visit with family and friends, listen to music, dance and go for motorcycle rides.